Archive for Wednesday, January 5, 2000

Flu’s fever breaks into town

January 5, 2000

You feel rotten. Your temperature's soared to 103 degrees. You're coughing uncontrollably.

Welcome to the flu.

"They look very ill," said Dr. Philip Stevens. "Sometimes, they'll be sweating profusely. They ache all over. They're coughing a lot, and many times there are multiple members of the family who have it practically simultaneously."

The flu's hit Leavenworth County.

"Clinically, I've seen eight people who, I feel, have the old-fashioned influenza," Stevens said.

For people with the flu, there's hope.

"If you see them within the first 48 hours, there is an antiviral medicine that you can give," Stevens said. "If you see them beyond that, then treatment is directed toward relief of symptoms and prevention of complications."

In the emergency room at Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth, nurse-manager Diane Amos says flu patients are walking through the door at a regular clip six to eight cases a day in the past week.

"We give them fluids and try to get their temps down," she said. "I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but a high fever on an adult makes them really feel like crud."

Amos' advice for people who haven't had a flu shot?

"Actually, there's nothing you can do, except drink fluids, take your vitamins and pray," she said.

Stevens also has seen people with other complaints, including bronchitis and sinusitis. And he's diagnosed some cases of pneumonia.

Flu isn't something to be taken lightly.

"It's very serious in elderly people or debilitated people," Stevens said. "Other than that, it's a miserable week."

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